Street Level Route for Olympic Flame Announced
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) announced the street level route the Olympic Torch Relay will take on its journey around the UK, including the route it will take through Edinburgh to the Evening Celebration at Edinburgh Castle on 13 June.
Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "The Olympic Flame arriving in Edinburgh will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for residents and visitors, who I'm sure will turn out in their droves to catch a glimpse. Many congratulations to all those who have been selected as Torchbearers - it's a tremendous honour to be a part of such an iconic event, with the eyes of the world on Scotland's Capital."
Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG added: "Today we bring the Olympic Torch Relay to life. The Flame symbolises the Olympic spirit and its journey around the UK will bring the excitement of the Games to our streets. Now the people know the route the Olympic Flame will be carried along and the Torchbearers for their community, they can start planning how they might celebrate and make it Edinburgh's moment to shine."
An average of 115 Torchbearers a day will carry the Olympic Flame during its 8,000 mile journey around the UK before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Two of the individuals selected to carry the Olympic Flame in the Edinburgh area are John Beaton, 19, and James Watt, 35.
John Beaton, who has just turned 19, is a Modern Apprentice within Economic Development at The City of Edinburgh Council.
John was diagnosed with glue ear as a baby and had to have gromits fitted. He was diagnosed with Asperger's at 17, but he never uses his difficulties as an excuse that he can't do things. After years of struggling he now referees rugby and is a Scout Leader. At age 14, John organised 100 scouts to carry flags at Murrayfield for the Calcutta Cup. John was also member of the Scottish Youth Parliament. He never thought he would pass his exams but he proved everyone wrong by sitting Higher Business Management.
John Beaton said: "I'm really excited to have been chosen to be a London 2012 Torchbearer, it's a once in a lifetime experience and it tops off what is going to be a great year, firstly being chosen to be a Modern Apprentice with CEC in January, being a Torchbearer in June and then in July I'm going down to be a London 2012 Games Maker.
"I have followed the Olympics since I was a small child and have been excited about the Games coming to London since we won the bid in 2005. For someone who couldn't kick a ball when he was younger, I have definitely thrown myself into the sporting aspect of 2012. Being an Olympic Torchbearer is a great honour and one I hope I can carry out to an exemplary standard for all those people who find it difficult in life because they have some form of disability, whether it is learning related or physical. All I can say is 'Bring on 2012, the biggest year and the biggest party ever!'"
Father-of-two James Watt is a support worker with A&E. As a reservist, James has served with The 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He has trained hard and worked tirelessly raising money for many charitable causes, including 'The Parachute Regiment Afghanistan Trust'. Most recently he pushed himself to not only run the Edinburgh Marathon but to do it wearing a parachute and reserve, adding some 60lb to what is already a daunting challenge.
He continues to serve as a reservist, training and inspiring the next round of recruits to perform beyond their personal best and leading by example.
James Watt said: "It's a monumental thing to be chosen to carry the Olympic Flame, I'm very proud to be a part of this year's Olympics. It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
The Edinburgh evening event is expected to take place around 4.30pm on 13 June at the Castle and will be free ticketed.
Ticket information and details of the programme will be released over the next few months.